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Audemars Piguet - 4th Art Commission : HALO by Semiconductors

Audemars Piguet 4th Art Commission : HALO by Semiconductors

Audemars Piguet unveils the details of its 4th Art HALO which has been conceived and executed by Semiconductor, Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, in collaboration with guest curator Mónica Bello. This new immersive installation will be presented at Art Basel in June 2018.

Audemars Piguet collaborates each year with a selected curator and emerging or mid-career artist to realise a new artwork that is premiered during one of Art Basel’s three international shows. The aim is to amplify the artist’s unique vision, while using the complexity and precision inherent in watchmaking as the artist’s stimuli. In 2018, Audemars Piguet unveils details of its 4th Art Commission, HALO, which has been conceived and executed by British artist-duo Semiconductor, Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, in collaboration with guest curator Mónica Bello, Spanish curator and head of Arts at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, and will be exhibited during Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, from 13-17 June 2018.

4th Art Commission : Halo by Semiconductors

Joe Gerhardt, Ruth Jarman and Mónica Bello © Audemars Piguet

Mónica Bello helped select Semiconductor whose work reflects the continuing exploration of these themes, celebrating a dialogue between contemporary art, science, and technology. Titled HALO, the large-scale, site-specific artwork will present visitors with an artistic interpretation of the ATLAS experiment at CERN. The large-scale, immersive experience will allow viewers to better understand subatomic nature and the complex phenomena taking place at the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Artists-in-residence at CERN for two months in 2015, Semiconductor have used raw data from the ATLAS experiment in their work. HALO takes the form of a ten-metre-wide cylinder-shaped structure that is entirely surrounded by vertical piano wires. Standing four metres tall, the interior of the installation is encircled by a 360-degree screen on which visitors can observe kaleidoscopic data projections generated by a series of slowed-down subatomic particle collisions that ordinarilly occur almost at the speed of light. As they hit the screen, the animated data points also trigger small hammers to hit the surrounding piano wires, emiting an all-encompassing vibration that resonates throughout the artwork, to be experienced both acoustically and physically by visitors.

4th Art Commission : Halo by Semiconductors

Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt © Audemars Piguet

The installation marks the first time an artist has received permission to work directly with raw data generated by the ATLAS experiment, thanks to the involvement of Audemars Piguet and CERN. Semiconductor say, ‘We are interested in the unknown and finding out about who we are as humans through what we don’t know. Science just happens to be the medium through which we do that. We hope visitors to HALO will be humbled by the immersive environment, transcending the scientific aims of the data.’

Following the established approach of the annual Art Commission, the artists were invited to Audemars Piguet’s home in Le Brassus, Switzerland, during the artwork’s development to spend time with the Manufacture’s watchmakers and begin to conceptualise the artwork. During their visit, Semiconductor noted many similarities between the watchmaking workshops and the laboratories at CERN. ‘They’re both operating at the limits of what is physically and humanly possible; the watches on a minuscule scale, where aids are needed to see the parts required, and at CERN, at the other end of the spectrum, where the limitations become how to manoeuvre, install and run experiments at such a large scale.’

4th Art Commission : Halo by Semiconductors

© Audemars Piguet

Mónica Bello, guest curator of the 4th Audemars Piguet Art Commission, says, ‘I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to realise HALO, and to be working with Semiconductor once again after their residency. This is the first time CERN is featured in an exhibition at Art Basel and I am grateful to Audemars Piguet for the invitation to work together. Ruth and Joe have created an immersive installation that conveys fundamental research with innovative ideas and artistic creativity in an extraordinary artwork. HALO is an opportunity for visitors to see how scientists and artists work together, inspiring each other and bringing to life unique visions of our world.’

Olivier Audemars, Vice President of the Board of Directors, says, ‘It amazes and excites me to see how Semiconductor explore how we see and experience the natural world. They help us to see things differently. And they bring to life the precision and complexity of particle physics and art. As a company, it is fundamental for Audemars Piguet to continue supporting innovative artists like Semiconductor, so we can better understand our own world and our own work.’

4th Art Commission : Halo by Semiconductors

© Audemars Piguet

Public Opening Hours: 13-17 June, 10:00am-9:00pm
Location: Messeplatz, Hall 4U, Basel, Switzerland

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Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.

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